Full-Service Immigration Firm Serving Clients Nationwide 

Although a valid green card allows an immigrant to live in the United States legally, it does not protect them from deportation if they are arrested by law enforcement. Green cards also don't cover extended family members and relatives who might want to legally enter the United States through family-based immigration. 

While obtaining U.S. citizenship can be a long and complicated journey, the benefits are worth the effort if you want to live in this country permanently. Our legal team at Dowd & Company PC proudly assist clients nationwide with naturalization and citizenship matters. Our esteemed legal professionals possess the extensive knowledge of the law that you need on your side to confidently pursue your immigration goals.

How Do I Become a Citizen of the United States? 

There are three paths to U.S. citizenship if you were born outside of the United States:

  • Naturalization: To become a citizen through naturalization, you must be a green card holder for at least five years to be eligible to apply. There are exceptions that might make you eligible without the five-year requirement.
  • Transmission: Even if you were born outside the U.S., you might already be a citizen if one or both of your parents were U.S. citizens at the time of your birth.
  • Acquisition: If you become a green-card before turning 18 years-old and your parents are naturalized citizens, then you will automatically become a U.S. citizen too.

Other Requirements To Become a U.S. Citizen Include: 

  • You must maintain continuous residence and physical presence in U.S.
  • You must be a resident of a particular state before filing
  • You must have the ability to read, write, and speak English
  • You have knowledge of and understand United States history and government
  • You have good moral character
  • You must swear to uphold the principles set forth in the U.S. Constitution
  • You have favorable disposition toward the U.S.

What Are the Benefits of Becoming a U.S. Citizen?

For some people becoming a U.S citizen can be a complicated decision because of identity-related or practical reasons. However, if you intend to stay in the United States for the long term, then becoming a citizen will give you the following advantages over green card holders:

  • You can vote in federal and state elections
  • You can petition for other family members who want to come to the U.S.
  • Your children will automatically become naturalized U.S. citizens
  • You can travel around the world with a U.S. passport
  • You can apply for federal jobs
  • You can vote in U.S. elections.
  • You can run for an elected office
  • You cannot be deported if you are charged with a crime
  • You can apply for federal jobs
  • You can obtain various government benefits

How Does the Naturalization Process Work?

If USCIS determines you meet the eligibility requirements, you will be allowed to apply for citizenship. You must submit a U.S. citizenship application, the required documentation, and pay any applicable fees. However, before you send any paperwork to immigration officials, make sure you are not subject to deportation for past immigration or criminal violations. We are here to help determine your options and guide you through the entire naturalization process.

Our Reputable Legal Team Will Advocate for You

At Dowd & Company PC, our top priority is delivering high-quality representation in all areas of immigration law. Clients who turn to us to handle their immigration matters benefit from having reliable and insightful partners who are ready to fiercely advocate for their best interest throughout each phase of the immigration process. To learn more about the services we offer at our firm, please set up a consultation today.

Call (804) 413-6962 or fill out our online form to schedule your appointment with one of our friendly legal professionals.